One in every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Thirteen percent of college women are stalked every school year, and perhaps the most shocking fact of all is that most incidents of domestic or sexual violence are never reported. These statistics are from the Knoxville Family Justice Center, a local organization that serves victims of domestic violence.
Tonight starting at 6:30 p.m., the Women's Coordinating Council will be hosting an event called "Take Back the Night." Partnering with the Central Program Council, the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the issues of sexual abuse and violence.
Cheyenne Flair, senior in food science and technology, stated that the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of sexual abuse.
"'Take Back the Night' is an international initiative organized by thousands of universities and various other organizations around the world, all with the common goal of brining awareness and education to the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and all other forms of sexual abuse," said Flair, who also serves as the "Take Back the Night" co-coordinator for the Women's Coordinating Council.
The event will feature abuse survivor Erin Merryn. She has written a book about her experience and has been featured on various talk shows, including "Oprah." Merryn speaks about her experience with people all over the nation.
Christina Lulich, sophomore in architecture, attended the event last year and felt like she got a lot out of it.
"I went to this event because I was required to for a class I was taking, but I am so glad I went," she said. "I think every single person at UT should go at least once."
Lulich was also surprised at the prevalence of sexual violence in our society.
"I was surprised at the number of guys who spoke of baby-sitters or family members who had assaulted them," she said. "You don't usually think of men being assaulted, but it actually happens quite often."
Richard Williams, senior in management and a marketing and public relations intern for the Knoxville Family Justice Center, agreed with Lulich.
"I never really knew how many people were affected each year by domestic violence," he said. "Not only that, but it's not always just women that are the victims; in some situations men are on the wrong end of (domestic violence)."
Rebecca Karlins, senior in public relations and a marketing and public relations intern at the Knoxville Family Justice Center, believes that students should take the opportunity to learn more about sexual and domestic violence.
"Knowledge is power," Karlins said. "I think any opportunity to educate oneself on a topic that may not be familiar to them should be seized. You never know when you could be in a situation or know someone in a situation where knowledge of domestic/sexual violence could be applicable."